Jolly Calls News Conference Before Debate With Crist
Florida 13th District candidates to face off at noon
Republican Rep. David Jolly called for Democratic challenger Charlie Crist to support the STOP Act, which would prohibit lawmakers from personally asking for campaign contributions.
Right before their scheduled debate Thursday, U.S. Rep. David Jolly called on his rival Charlie Crist to declare whether or not he supports support legislation that would prohibit lawmakers from personally seeking campaign contributions.
Does Charlie Crist support the STOP Act? Jolly asked at a news conference right before he and Crist were to face off in a debate in St. Petersburg, the Tampa Bay Times reported. “The issue lives or dies in November.”
Crist’s campaign earlier Thursday released a poll from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that showed him with an 11-point lead over Jolly, 50 percent to 39 percent.
The poll found Jolly’s favorability rating has decreased among likely voters in the district, from 46 percent favorable in August to 41 percent now.
The poll surveyed 400 likely voters by telephone from Oct. 2 to 4 and had a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
[Roll Call’s 2016 Election Guide: House]
Neither candidate planned on running for the seat earlier this year, and both have had to defend their decision to enter the race.
Jolly was running for the Senate because incumbent GOP Sen. Marco Rubio was running for president instead of re-election. But when Rubio changed his mind after ending his presidential campaign, Jolly dropped out to run for re-election to his House seat.
Crist was not planning on running at all until the district lines changed after a new round of redistricting to include his home in downtown St. Petersburg. The former Republican governor was beaten by Rubio in the 2010 GOP Senate primary, then again in the general election in which he ran as an independent. Crist ran for Florida governor as a Democrat in 2014 (he had joined the party two years earlier), but lost to Republican incumbent Rick Scott.
The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Leans Democratic.